Indiana invests in mental health | heraldry


ANGOLA – After witnessing the social and emotional consequences of COVID-19, mental health services across Indiana are now able to invest in more opportunities for their communities with increased grants at the federal level and state.

The addiction and mental health services administration arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently committed $ 825 million to invest in more than 200 community mental health centers across the country, and the Indiana’s General Assembly has allocated $ 100 million from its next budget specifically for mental health and addiction services as well as family social services.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said state funding does not require any stipulations and it is up to organizations to determine how best to use the money.

“One of their priorities is to increase the number of behavioral support professionals in the state. We are woefully under-represented among psychiatrists, especially child psychiatrists, and also among therapists, ”said Crouch. “Those Hoosiers who are born with genes that predispose them to these conditions deserve an opportunity to be successful in life. We need to provide them with the services and the support to be able to do that. That is why this $ 100 million investment is so important.

While mental health has always been a hot topic of discussion, the pandemic has brought it even closer to the forefront of everyday conversations.

Data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that from August 2020 to February 2021, the percentage of adults with recent symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5 % and the percentage of those reporting unmet mental health. care needs fell from 9.2% to 11.7%.

Similar increases in anxiety and depression have been clearly seen in children struggling to cope with sudden changes in their lives.

“I talk to principals or school counselors, to scout leaders, to scout leaders. They will tell me that the amount of anxiety, depression, panic, suicidal ideation, suicidal action and self-harm is greater than they have ever seen with our young people, and it is there. ‘Indiana’s future,’ Crouch said. “The human cost of this pandemic is enormous, and it will grow exponentially in the years to come. “

The Bowen Center, recipient of the SAMHSA investment, received a $ 3.9 million federal grant to expand access to mental health and behavioral support for Americans as they continue to cope with the impacts of the pandemic.

While this funding will allow the center to better provide prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for people with mental, emotional and addiction needs, Bowen is also using the money to further extend its reach to other marginalized communities, such as the Amish.

“This grant had a lot to do with communicating and connecting with these groups in more depth,” said Dr. Robert Ryan, senior vice president of operations at the Bowen Center. “Our goal is at a minimum to improve the training and understanding of our staff, and the second is to share resources with the Amish community.”

Bowen has previously worked with the Amish community, communicating with Mennonite bishops about potential work and employment opportunities, but the federal grant allows them to focus more on improving those relationships and establishing commitments to long term.

“It takes a long time to build trust with their community, that’s understandable,” Ryan said. “I think this is something that will develop over the next couple of years.”

Much of Bowen’s work with the Amish community was previously intervention-type, but the center is looking for ways to become more preventative, such as training the Amish population and employing them with Bowen to help themselves.

“Just as we see the Amish employed in trades, we would like to see them employed with Bowen,” Ryan said. “And from there, seeing these people working within their own communities. “

As Bowen works to find ways to foster a better understanding of its Amish clientele – such as teaching culture to its employees through a partnership with Goshen College – the center understands that the answers to these new initiatives can be different from county to county since each Amish community is different.

“It’s not about trying to get into their communities and change the way they think,” Ryan said. “They have mental health issues like everyone else. “

Some organizations, like Oaklawn, have set up facilities specifically to serve members of the Amish community.

There are three locations in Goshen that offer different services, including Rest Haven (short-term treatment for men and women), Pleasant Haven (long-term care for men), and Horizons of Hope (long-term care for women).

Each facility is managed and staffed with local Amish staff while Oaklawn clinicians provide treatment. The programs offer group therapy and educational programs in Pennsylvania Dutch that allow clients to work indoors and out.

“The need was there for that type of service, so it was a mutual thing,” said Chris Miller, administrator of Pleasant Haven. “Oaklawn is providing the professional clinical part of that, and we take care of the logistics with all of the transportation and getting them to the workshops, setting up support groups and working with family in the home church. “

Regarding the pandemic, Miller said the Amish community is no exception.

“It was embarrassing for us as it was for everyone,” Miller said. “The daily pressure has been hard on everyone for this.”

COVID-19 has had an impact in every corner of the country, regardless of community or demographics, and the increased attention and investment in mental health services will help mitigate these social and emotional effects.

However, state officials like Crouch are committed to improving mental health services not only for these immediate consequences, but for a better overall environment surrounding mental health in the future.

“I always look at sanity in three buckets. There is the awareness / acceptance bucket. People need to be aware of the problem and accept that it is okay to disagree and get help. There is the problem of accessibility. There must therefore be services that are accessible to them. And there is the question of affordability. They must be able to afford it. And we have work to do in all of these areas, ”said Crouch.

The Indiana Behavioral Health Commission, established in the 2019 legislative session, is a step the state has taken to review its entire mental health service system – not just in terms of delivery , but also awareness, accessibility and affordability – then make recommendations to the general assembly on what changes are needed.

Crouch herself also took the personal initiative in finding new ways to improve the state’s mental health opportunities during her tenure.

“Beyond my normal duties and responsibilities, I wanted to focus on mental health and addiction,” Crouch said. “I am putting together a private / public initiative to see how we can tackle this problem holistically with the resources that the state provides but also that the private sector brings to complement and be able to provide support and fill in any gaps that may exist.

For more information on Indiana Mental Health Grants Funding and Open Grants, visit

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